"bird by bird, buddy. just take it bird by bird."
- Anne Lamott’s father’s advice to her then, ten year old brother, when he sat down to write a report about birds that was due the next day. he’d had three months to write it.

anne lamott bird by bird

"To me, design is about problem solving, and thinking about how I can have maximum impact on society. In a country like India, that’s never going to happen by designing the next lemon squeezer."
- Neeti Kailas

design neetikailas artcentercollegeofdesign

nevver:

Design Crush

what an incredible reminder. i suddenly have flashbacks of making toys, hand-sewing Barbie clothes, sketching + writing.

nevver:

Design Crush

what an incredible reminder. i suddenly have flashbacks of making toys, hand-sewing Barbie clothes, sketching + writing.

△ exchange between me and my former professor, and now, colleague. there is no humbler experience than being able to work alongside the same person who taught you, inspired you, and is now offering their valuable time and energy to become your mentor. 
i’ve been hearing praise all my life, from very good and very talented people. i focused on all the negative stuff i was hearing, instead.
and now that i’m able to see the positivity in my negative experiences, i can finally appreciate my parents’ and grandparents’ criticism. it’s okay to constantly critique myself; to constantly strive for personal, and subsequently, creative and professional betterment; but i also have to be generous with and forgiving of myself. and hey, if i’m critical of myself, it’s because i know that i can do better.  
i grew up believing i wasn’t as smart and talented as my siblings, and these thoughts have not served me. i’ve been supported all along, by people whose work and ideologies i wholeheartedly admire.

△ exchange between me and my former professor, and now, colleague. there is no humbler experience than being able to work alongside the same person who taught you, inspired you, and is now offering their valuable time and energy to become your mentor. 

i’ve been hearing praise all my life, from very good and very talented people. i focused on all the negative stuff i was hearing, instead.

and now that i’m able to see the positivity in my negative experiences, i can finally appreciate my parents’ and grandparents’ criticism. it’s okay to constantly critique myself; to constantly strive for personal, and subsequently, creative and professional betterment; but i also have to be generous with and forgiving of myself. and hey, if i’m critical of myself, it’s because i know that i can do better.  

i grew up believing i wasn’t as smart and talented as my siblings, and these thoughts have not served me. i’ve been supported all along, by people whose work and ideologies i wholeheartedly admire.

"you get back what you put forth. and if you don’t, move the fuck on."
- mttn

All kinds of minds

there was a time - in my late teens and early 20s - when i experienced incredible, phantasmal dreams and the most unnerving and vivid hallucinations. i thought i was haunted by bad spirits. i’d give anything to have those dreams back now. it was the most connected i’ve ever felt to the universe and my environment. the universe was speaking to me but i didn’t understand it back then. i wasn’t equipped to.

back then, i couldn’t sleep for months, out of fear of experiencing these episodes. and the more fear i developed, the worse my dreams and hallucinations got. i understood, to a certain degree, that i was perpetuating these fears and experiences, but not to the level that i understand it now. i’d only scratched the surface of understanding back then.  

as i write this, i am processing this understanding because i have only started to become cognizant of this, just moments ago.

i realize that:

#1) it was energy, as i understand it now,

#2) that this energy was negative energy, and

#3) that, that negative energy was my own.

the common denominator in all my of perceived negative experiences was me and my negative illusions. i am blessed to have this understanding, now. 

the transformation i’ve been experiencing for the past couple of months has been the most humbling and rewarding part of my journey. i love the experiences i’ve had in my life, every single last one of them; even the ones that broke my spirit. because those experiences have only made me want to grow more, out of desperate yearning to escape from constant disparity and suffering. i am able to see the beauty in every thing and every moment of my life, especially the hardships. that’s how powerful my mind is. 

i am slowly forming daily habits to perpetuate my growth. taking the rail has enabled me to have more reading time. i made it halfway through a book, in just a couple of days; this is the furthest i’ve gotten in the last few months. bulges have formed on both corners of my book, due to excessive earmarkings. this means my soul’s being fed. and my hunger for more is ever-increasing.  

in the mornings, while getting ready for work, i listen to & watch podcasts that relate to philosophy, psychology, spirituality and science - all things i find enriching for myself. i never thought i’d see the day when i would truly understand and love science as much as i do now. my mind is in space and atoms all at once, yearning for the vastness of the universe. i react much, much less to negative environments and situations too. because of my profound understanding of the universe, nothing really matters, not even matter. and yet, it does matter. 

i take opportunities - especially when outside - to practice mindful meditation: while walking to the bus stop, while waiting for the bus and - after my rail transfer - while walking from the rail station to the office. i make it a point to put my phone away. on the rail, i read. and i focus intensely on reading. when i speak and act, i practice doing so with mindfulness and control. i make and take time to find beauty in my surroundings, from a cordial conversation between a homeless man and a gentle, elderly woman - whose combined presence exudes so much warmth; to the unloading of freshly baked European goods off a small truck downtown. i make an effort to take in energy from my surroundings, to project positive energy consistently, even to random strangers, animals and ‘inanimate’ objects; and i do so in silence.

these minor tweaks in my life will only lead to greater adjustments. i’m taking baby steps. i’ve failed in the past because i overwhelmed myself with so many ‘to-dos’. i convinced myself i would never get to any of them, and i was right. i was extremely impatient with myself. i wasted so much time traveling to the past and future that i wasn’t able to fully immerse myself in the present. so instead of focusing on what i haven’t accomplished, i’m honoring myself by recognizing what i am accomplishing and have accomplished.